Friday, December 22, 2006

More tents

Do you remember this photo? I explained how an association (Médecins du monde) wanted to attract people's attention on the homeless situation by giving them big bright tents that would make them even more visible to the passers by. Well another association (Les enfants de Don Quichotte) has installed more tents on the Quai de Jemmapes (10th arrondissement)and, this time, it's not for homeless people but for people with a home who want to experience - and support - what living in the street is like. Needless to say that this operation is pretty controversial.


  1. Wow. That's quite an undertaking. I personally don't think it is necessary for people to live on the streets for them to be empathetic to the plight of the homeless, but whatever floats their boats, I guess.

    I was homeless for a while myself. I would have considered these people dilettantes.

  2. I remember that other photo. I'm sure the people who are promoting this have the right intentions. However, I don't see how that will change anything...because I would imagine that lack of money for programs is not the problem in France (I'm just guessing). It does contribute to the problem here though (especially since the Bush years and the reduction of funds for social programs).

    I went to the site you included but I all I could understand was the cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" at the intro! Maybe someone can tell me a summarized version of it.

  3. It's probably a good idea, to get them noticed, otherwise the sight of another pair of cold legs sticking out of a shop doorway at night gets ignored. I do agree though you don't have to live on the streets to imagine how awful it must be. Something smacks of "hey, this'll be fun, let's live like poor people for a while".
    Medecins du Monde had the better idea.

  4. That is quite a row of tents! I hope they accmplish their goals here.

    Not to take away from the seriousness of the matter, but starting tomorrow I'll be able to view PDP on my Nintendo Wii! So excited cause Eric's fabulous pictures will be super big!!!

  5. tents for the homeless is a brilliant idea. raising money by installing more tents and collecting the donations in exchange for money for the homeless is a pie in the sky idea...i would love to know how successful this association Les Enfants will be in the end at getting people with homes to "live" in these tents.

    great photo exposing the "ugly" side of paris (and in the rest of the world) to the world.

  6. I must say I am a bit speechless here. Don't know what to think about this initiative.
    I kind of agree with buzzgirl and lynn, not sure this sort of empathy is the most efficient way to solve the problem.

    At least, it makes some noise, which is always good I suppose.

    But today's noise'll be back to silence tomorrow. And what will have changed?
    Let's wait and see...

    PS. Thanks Eric for sharing that shot, very impressive view anyway.

  7. If it raises awareness of a serious problem, it's okay with me. What's most important is what happens after the show is over. Will there be significant follow-up??

  8. I love it. I don't see how it'll help the homeless exactly, but I like that people are trying something different for them.

    Tomate Farcie (on a borrowed computer)

  9. I'm glad you keep calling attention to this problem, Eric. I hope it provokes people into action!

    Request: It'd be ever so lovely to see some holiday pastry concoctions...

  10. tents for homeless sounds logical. Back in India may not be that workable looking at number of people on streets, but there are initiative such as these to help them with casual jobs and distributing blankets in winter....

  11. People need to be aware that there are many without. Joyeux Noel to all the PDPersss! And to the Maitre, bien sur...Eric!!! Joyeux Reveillon de Noel!!

    Tomate: I found the "Eau de Metro" in the new Bloomingdales...should I save a bottle for you?? LOL!!

  12. Here in Southern California we have over 60,000 homeless. There is an area in Los Angeles called "Skid Row" where 10,000 people live in boxes and tents. I like this project in Paris. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Creative way to express the empathy to homeless

  14. I don't know much, but what I hear of Paris and promotions like this makes me believe Paris is a place where awareness keeps growing. I don't think we can go back, after something like this, whatever shortcomings this particular idea may have. Should we do nothing because people might go back to forgetfulness? I think whatever each of us does out of consciousness creates more consciousness, however slight. I say "bravo."

    Just my two cents.

  15. while they're living in those tents, are the truly homeless living in their house? I don't know if it's seems logical.. but it's always a good idea to make whatever to get people attention about that kind of problems.

    another madrid dailyphoto blog

  16. If they are not careful, those on a budget will start staying there when visiting Paris :)

  17. Thanks for posting this. I'm glad there is awareness happening but personally, I don't think one needs to sleep on tents to empathize with the homeless.

    Eric, thanks for keeping us up-to-date on what's happening in Paris!

  18. Of course, it would have been more efficient to invite homeless people at home rather than sleeping outside with them.

    But i think the message is intended for the french government. People expect new laws to help poor people.

    And unfortunatly, historically in France, things change mainly when going down in the street.

    Then, what was impossible becomes sometimes possible.

  19. It would be great to think we could invit e the homeless into our homes, but the reality is that you don't know who you're getting. This is not to say that homeless people are untrustworthy, not at all, but you wouldn't invite any stranger, regardless of status straight into your home. Well, unless you like to live dangerously i suppose. Someone from a lovely home dressed in a suit can be as bad a person as a homeless person in rags so it's impracticable.
    Are the tents given to the homeless or merely lent for this publicity?

  20. Very creative way to promote awareness. Somehow I can't ever see something like that being done in the States. Certainly hope it provides the desired result.
    Great photo.

  21. I think you're right Lynn. We feel unconfortable living in comfort whereas other human beings like us live in tents in the cold but at the same time I think none of us is ready to invite a homeless person over.

    Let's be realistic.

    I don't know why but something tells me this action is not entirely "pure". I can't help thinking this association has another agenda than just promoting awareness. Maybe I'm wrong.

  22. Terri,
    It's done here in Providence, RI. But to me it's meaningless. Rich kids (teens), spend one night in a tent at the statehouse where the homeless congregate.
    Next morning it's back to the suburbs. This is all sponsored by one of the wealthier churches here.
    Cell phones, Ipods, first-class tents - in the sixties they'd have been called phonies. I'd have a stronger word for the parents.

  23. And of course you have no opinion abou this Eric, as always. Giving your opinion would attract less audience !

  24. Very true Damien.

    Except that I do have an opinion about this, I just don't wish to impose my views on other people...

  25. I do not see the relationship between telling his opinion, and imposing his opinion.
    I enjoy people I can have a debate with, when we can share opinions. No one imposes anything to anyone - it is just a matter of having real discussions and sharing views on the world.

    What I can see on this blog is that you like flat discussions around Christmas decorations and silly things everybody agrees with - and as soon as you touch something controversial, you do everything you can not to get involved. From an adult person, such an attitude is pretty strange.

    Or there is just one logic : attracting people. In this case I understand, but in the same way I zap commercials, I will zap your blog.

  26. Whilst we are scintillatingly informed at length as to Damien's zapping habits (for which we are undoubtedly the richer), his views on 'silly things' and his enthusiasm for expressing an opinion, I cannot for the life of me find one of his own, on the post in question.

  27. Damien, I never hid the fact that I wanted to attract more and more visitors here, of course.

    And believe me if one day I could make a living with PDP I would!

    So please, do feel free to visit "non commercial" blogs if you feel unconfortable with my neutral standpoint on things.

    I can afford to lose one visitor, don't worry ;)

  28. I hope that this does wake people up,something has to do it. I there were more things like that here. I hate waking up to the news that another homeless person has frozen to death behind a convienience store. Thanks for showing this Eric.

  29. Well, I was GOING to say that I agree with Damien (that stating an opinion is not imposing and that itis STIMULATING to me)...but then he wrote "I'll zap your blog"!!!

    Where did that come from? Silly. Just as it's okay to have an opinion, it's just as okay to keep it to yourself. I guess you kind of proved Eric's point that perhaps (with some people), it's better to keep quiet...or someone like yourself will get nasty! There was no need.

    Plus, I think Eric is a Libra....not

  30. susan temporarily in tennessee ;)December 24, 2006 at 8:59:00 AM GMT+1

    Are you a Libra?

  31. Eric, Libra or not, there is wisdom in putting an image out there and letting people dialog around it without tipping your own hand about your personal views. It offer people the opportunity to think for themselves and listen to your other visitor's wide variety of comments thoughtfully. The odd thing about Damien's remark on zapping your blog like he would commercials: he found your editorial policy different than he would wish it to be; but, no one sought him out and dragged him to this site or misrepresented to him the type of images and dialog that go on here. Why the need to mold you and your blog to his image or need for debate? Does he think he'll improve your blog or you as a human being through his remarks? I don't understand in general what has been termed "troll" behavior, where people enter the dialog of established net communities, flame with accusations and tend to stir things up around themselves or their dearly ridden hobby horses. I wonder if outside of cyberspace folks who behave this way in regard to people on a blog would also walk up to strangers face to face in the street and start raving about how they don't appear to be living their lives as s/he would wish? What an odd approach to human relations to think one knows enough about a complete stranger to criticize the way they conduct their personal endeavors. What motivates troll behavior like that? Some sociologist is probably studying it. It seems to happen in any net forum with a sizable audience, though. At times I wish there were a troll zapper. People who seek conflict and controversy in these settings, or who think any and all places like this must entertain their rules of encounter are hard for me to understand. There are plenty of sites that would suit them, so why can't they just duck out quietly when they find this is not their cup of tea? "OMG, you are serving oolong instead of jasmine, how dare you!" Is it ignorance? Arrogance? Immaturity? Need for attention? Boredom? One-up-manship? Condescension? Disdain? Crankiness? Genuinely wanting to provoke what one feels would be positive change? Simple lack of social graces? One wonders.

  32. I think it's lack of one's own personal opinion and psychologically, it's transference. See my earlier comment.

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